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22 May 2009, 10:00 am
SCHEIDT And PRADA Take Overall Lead At Star Eastern Hemispheres
Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA at the Expert Olympic Garda
Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA, pictured at the Expert Olympic Garda, have taken the lead in Hyeres

Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship 2009
Hyeres, France

The Swiss team of Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA were the top performers on day two of the ISAF Grade C1 Star Eastern Hemisphere Championship at Hyeres, but it's Brazil's Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA who take over the leaderboard top spot thanks to their consistent scoring.
As Hyeres, France heads toward its tourist season, the days are longer, the water is warmer and the winds are lighter than they were just three weeks ago during the ISAF Sailing World Cup event. While common wisdom in Hyeres is that the wind goes right during the day, it has done everything but go right during the first two days of racing during the Star Eastern European Championship.

Thursday's conditions resembled those of Qingdao's Olympic test events - hazy skies, barely a breath of air and a little chop. Robert SCHEIDT and Bruno PRADA's (BRA) consistency at the top of the fleet has them in the lead and Flavio MARAZZI and Enrico DE MARIA (SUI) are performing well in their Wilke Star. Among the differences - there was a fleet of about 70 PHRF boats on another race course on to windward and there are some other names and faces making it into the top of the fleet during each and every fluky race.

Switzerland's MARAZZI and DE MARIA gave each other a congratulatory hand shake and broke into smiles after four legs of intense concentration during the first race. They crossed the finish line over two minutes in front of Australia's Andrew LANDENBERGER and Simon REFFOLD. LANDENBERGER and REFFOLD excelled on the runs in the light air, probably because LANDENBERGER, an Olympic medallist in the Tornado, is used to sailing wide angles. Spain's Fernando LAGO and Juan Alvarez DESOTOMAYO, sailing hull number 7384, a boat that the US considered using in the 1992 Olympic Games, finished third in the first race.

Italians, Nicola CELON and Edoardo NATUCCI grabbed the lead well before the first weather mark of the second race and held onto it. CELON is very familiar with conditions in Hyeres. He won the Melges 24 World Championship in Hyeres two years ago. The Greeks, Emilios PAPATHANASIOU and Apostolos KARNOUTSOS rounded each mark about a minute behind CELON and NATUCCI and finished second. MARAZZI and DE MARIA held off SCHEIDT and PRADA, Lars GRAEL and Renato MOURA (BRA) and George SZABO and Rick PETERS (USA) and LANDENBERGER and REFFOLD, to take third place in a close finale for the day.

A discard will be factored in following the completion of more than four races. SCHEIDT and PRADA have a six-point lead over SZABO and PETERS and the young Frenchmen Jean Baptiste BERNAZ and Vincent BERENGUIER are in third.

Results - click here
Lynn Fitzpatrick
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